CFP Chapter Proposals on Autoethnography

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Ball State University
contact email: 


Self-Culture-Writing: Autoethnography for/as Writing Studies



Literally translated as “self-culture-writing,” autoethnography—as both process and product—

holds great promise for scholars and researchers in Writing Studies who endeavor to describe,

understand, analyze, and critique the ways in which selves, cultures, writing, and representation

intersect. Indeed, interest in autoethnography is growing among Writing Studies folks who see

clear connections to well-known disciplinary conversations about personal narrative (Brandt, et

al 2001, Spigelman 2004), as well as to the narrative turn in general and social justice efforts in

particular. Canagarajah (2012), writing about the emancipatory potential of autoethnography,

observes that writing autoethnography “enables marginalized communities to publish their own

culture and experiences in their own voices, resisting the knowledge constructed about them” (p.

115). Others in the field discuss uses of autoethnography in the writing classroom (Kost, Lowe,

& Sweetman 2014, Auten 2016, Damron & Brooks 2017), as a research method (Noe 2016,

Broad 2017), and as a legitimate way of knowing (Villanueva 1993).


Outside the field, particularly in the social sciences and education, autoethnography

method/methodology texts abound (e.g. Reed-Danahay 1997; Ellis 2003; Ellis 2008; Chang

2009; Nash 2011; Denzin 2013; Adams et al. 2014; Jones et al. 2016). These texts provide

philosophical and methodological grounding in autoethnography, yet their applicability to

Writing Studies is limited. Simply put, they leave unanswered the major questions Writing

Studies scholars and researchers are interested in: what are the lines between autoethnography,

personal narrative, memoir, and what Nash calls “scholarly personal narrative”? When is

experience data? What are the (irrefutable) features of an autoethnography? What forms of

autoethnography—evocative, interpretive, analytic, interactive, performative—should Writing

Studies embrace? Is autoethnography simply the latest iteration of using personal story in

scholarship, which has a long history in the field under various names (e.g. Gilyard 1991, Britton

1993, Villanueva 1993)?


This edited collection will address these and related questions, foregrounding the possibility of

autoethnography as a viable research method and methodological approach, and providing

researchers and instructors with ways of understanding, crafting, and teaching autoethnography

within Writing Studies. We imagine organizing the collection into three parts: a section on how

and why to do autoethnographic research in Writing Studies, a section on how to teach

autoethnography, and a section of Writing Studies autoethnographies. We invite chapter

proposals that fit within one of these three sections, although we are also open to proposals that

straddle these categories or offer an alternate perspective on autoethnography not represented

here. We are particularly interested in proposals that study or articulate how to study writing or

literacy practices in non-classroom spaces and non-US settings.


Please send inquiries and submissions to and Proposals

should be 350-500 words, accompanied by a brief CV (no more than 5 pages). Proposals are due

by July 1, 2017. Drafts of completed chapters will be due by Jan 1, 2018.